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‘Dramatic spike’ in violence as peace talks resume

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KABUL: Afghanistan’s point man for peace, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, has expressed worries about a dramatic spike in violence as peace talks have resumed in Qatar.

Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, Dr. Abdullah, said Monday that people are hopeful for a desirable outcome of peace talks, but a surge in insecurity and violence has sparked their concerns.

Speaking at an event on Monday, he said that people are tired of the current situation and it is necessary to stop the war. “The first steps have been taken, and its primary stage is very important and historic and the people of Afghanistan expect rapid progress. But reduction of violence has not only failed to materialize, it has even increased dramatically,” he stated.

Referring to US President Trump’s recent decision regarding drawdown of US troops from Afghanistan by Christmas, Abdullah Abdullah said the countries have the authority to decide about fate of their forces in Afghanistan. But he said the international community will not leave Afghanistan alone.

“International community will remain our allies in the process of peacemaking, enforcing women rights, implementing development projects and paving ground for prosperity in Afghanistan,” he said.

President Spokesman Sediq Seddiqi had also recently echoed Dr. Abdullah’s remarks, saying the international community will continue their support for Afghanistan. He urged the Taliban on Monday to cease hostilities as violence has been rising in record scales in recent weeks. “Taliban should come to terms with the fact that they cannot win through war,” he said.

This is as Taliban staged a predawn attack on parts of Helmand province and claimed control for a day on Sunday. A counterassault by Afghan security forces, however, pushed them back, and resulted in a huge defeat for the militants. Ministry of Interior said Monday that security forces repelled the Taliban attacks and killed more than 80 rebels in retaliation to their assault on parts of Lashkargah city and two other districts.

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